Surry County may have a brand new wine-growing pocket beginning in 2021 as Serre Vineyards will get up and working on the west facet of the county.
The positioning is situated on Beast Path, a gravel drive off New Life Church Street within the Blevins Retailer group on the Fisher River.
The winery will begin small in 2021, increase over time, however the wine making and tasting have already begun.
“We’ve been planning the property for about three and a half years,” mentioned Christian Krobisch, who’s beginning the enterprise along with his bride, Melissa Hayes, whom he married final yr.
“We simply opened the tasting room a few month in the past now. The winery might be planted within the spring of ’21 — as a result of we simply cleared land final yr and the soil is just too acidic. We’ve 70 acres of property right here, as much as 10 cleared proper now for winery. … We’ll have a 2-acre winery proper in entrance of the barn.”
There’s much more than 70 acres to view from the excessive spot looking upon the foothills main as much as the mountain vary.
“An attractive view of the Blue Ridge Mountains. You may see the Blue Ridge Parkway and Cumberland Knob from right here,” agreed Krobisch.
“I’m initially from upstate New York; I moved to Charlotte about 25 years in the past,” mentioned Krobisch.
What did he do in Charlotte?
“I’m nonetheless in finance. I work for an asset supervisor. I’ve been in monetary providers for 25 years. With COVID now, I’ve been working from residence … out of our home down in Mount Ethereal.”
What does this cash man learn about wines?
“I’m partnering with a extra seasoned wine maker proper now, within the hopes that ultimately I’ll grow to be a full wine maker,” he mentioned. “However proper now I’m form of apprenticing with a extra seasoned skilled so I don’t break my wine.
“However I’ve at all times had a ardour for making wine. I’ve at all times had a ardour for the method and the historical past of wine.”
These pursuits have been spurred throughout his childhood and grew additional in maturity.
“I’m first-generation American, so my household coming from Europe, we traveled round Europe quite a bit: Italy and France, Austria and Switzerland and Germany. I simply fell in love with the tradition and the historical past of Previous World wine.”
What’s a favourite vacation spot?
“I’ve been to Germany most likely 15 to 16 instances in my life. My household is from Germany. The Rhine River Valley is totally lovely — the vineyards come proper all the way down to the river. My favourite city is named Rüdesheim, which is that this little village beneath this superb fortress. And there’s climbing and biking and nice meals, fantastic folks. It’s most likely my favourite place on the planet.”
Coming right here
The couple mentioned they visited a vineyard elsewhere on this state a number of years again and have been amazed at how good the standard was. That acquired Krobisch eager about what the soil may produce right here.
“North Carolina presents a few of the most original and particular situations for winemaking. Solely areas with distinctive climates, soil and elevations earn the celebrated designation of an American Viticultural Space. North Carolina is residence to 5 of them, together with Yadkin Valley — the state’s first AVA.”
The couple wrote on their enterprise web site, “Craft beer has put North Carolina on the grownup beverage map. With over 300 microbreweries and brewpubs, we stake declare to the most important craft beer scene within the South. However there’s one other ‘scene’ in NC that will get neglected far too typically: North Carolina wineries.
“There are greater than — are you prepared for this? — 400 vineyards and 200 wineries within the state.”
After analysis, Krobisch and Hayes have been ready to offer this enterprise a attempt.
“We purchased this property about three and a half years in the past. We have been searching for a spot to have out within the nation, have the children play exterior. We’ve a gorgeous riverfront: Fisher River runs proper in entrance of the property.
“The property was owned by a rich gentleman out of Mooresville, and this was simply his looking retreat. He introduced his purchasers up, hunted the land, and we discovered the property by a pal of a pal.”
The proprietor didn’t want the spot anymore, and his kids weren’t taken with a looking retreat, so the land went up on the market.
Life and wine companions
Krobisch defined that he and Hayes jumped on the deal even earlier than their nuptials.
“We met in 2015 in Charlotte,” he recalled.
Melissa’s first husband was identified with Hodgkin’s lymphoma at 38 and battled it till the age of 45, throughout which era she turned pregnant and had a child lady. Immediately she discovered herself alone with a toddler nonetheless in diapers in 2013.
Krobisch was nonetheless reeling from a divorce, however then because the couple mentioned, “Two individuals who by no means knew if they might fall head over heels once more fell exhausting and quick; they usually fell collectively.”
“She’s superb,” he mentioned. “She is nice at hospitality. She is the sunshine of my life.” She is a former fitness center proprietor and entrepreneur.
“We’ve a blended household,” he mentioned. “I’ve two kids from a earlier marriage.” His son is 14 and his daughter 12, whereas Melissa’s daughter is now 9.
“We’re lucky to have this place as a result of they get to be children and run round. And be a part of enterprise, too. They’ve really seen the enterprise come up and seen us construct a enterprise, which has been actually good for them to study from.”
A part of that rising a enterprise is determining a scope for the venture.
“We cleared land about two years in the past (for a barn),” he mentioned. “We have been simply going to have it as a part of the farm, wine tasting. After which Melissa had the concept we must always host occasions and issues like that, so we determined to complete it out and make it extra of a full-on occasion venue. … It’s 3,000 sq. ft and now we have one other thousand sq. ft of porch entrance.
“We really acquired married on the property in 2019 and had our family and friends up.”
If the vines haven’t been planted but, how does the tasting room have any bottles to supply?
“We purchased grapes from native farms and used one other vineyard’s tools — who had additional capability — to make our wine,” he defined. Then as issues progress, the positioning can get its personal tools.
“Our winery might be planted in spring 2021, and the vineyard might be constructed later within the yr. We’re conscious that our first crop might be very small and we might want to nonetheless complement with exterior grapes for a number of years. We plan to have majority of our personal grapes at yr three.”
As for what he and his veteran wine maker produced already, he mentioned, “We even have 11 wines. The whole lot from dry whites to dry reds.”
There’s a glowing Knockout Rosé, a grenache NautiLife Rosé, Cabernet Franc, Cabernet Sauvignon, Sangiovese (a darkish and savory delight, scarce exterior Italy, however thrives in North Carolina).
“Then we do a Fuego line, which is our candy wines — Fuego is our canine. We’ve a Fuego Peach and Fuego Sangria.”
Then comes three blended choices: Meritige blends cabernet sauvignon, cabernet franc, merlot, petit verdota malbec varieties. The Early Mix mixes a “curated collection of delectable North Carolina grapes.” Carolina Wine Mixer is a white wine mix.
The place did the identify for the winery originate? Serre (pronounced like “stair”) is likely one of the many names heard through the years for a purple Italian wine grape additionally identified by neyret, negret, neret gros and neret picciou.
Regardless of the intelligent identify, the house owners say they might reasonably have a laid-back, enjoyable surroundings the place folks don’t must know something concerning the wines to get pleasure from them.
For extra on Serre Vineyards, see the web site at www.serrevineyards.com.